Category Archives: Game Preview

Game Preview: 2/26/17 at ARI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 25
Buffalo 3 at Colorado 5
Goals: Reinhart. Foligno, Rodrigues
Goalie: Lehner (25 saves/29 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/4; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 37 – Colorado 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 300)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 61 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 25 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 11 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/20:
Assigned F Justin Bailey, F Nicholas Baptiste and F Evan Rodrigues to Rochester (AHL)
2/24: Recalled F Justin Bailey and F Evan Rodrigues from Rochester (AHL); Activated F Zemgus Girgensons from IR; Assigned F Derek Grant to Rochester

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Feb. 28:
Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 2: Arizona at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 4: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 5: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, March 7: San Jose at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES AT COYOTES

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Coyotes this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Arizona 2-1 in Arizona on Jan. 18, 2016
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 2 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Coyotes; 8-2-0 on the road.
  • This is the 75th game all-time between Buffalo and Arizona/Winnipeg; Buffalo has a 44-21-9 series record.
  • The Sabres are 20-14-2 on the road against the Coyotes/Jets all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-8-6 all-time on February 26.
  • February 26, 1987: Wilf Paiement records the 99th hat trick in Sabres history in a 4-3 win against the visiting St. Louis Blues.
  • February 26, 1995: Dominik Hasek plays his 100th game as a member of the Sabres against the New York Rangers.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo is 10-1-1 in its last 12 games against Arizona, including a 5-0-1 record since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • With a point tonight, the Sabres would have points in seven straight games against the Coyotes/Jets for the first time since they won a series-best seven straight games against the Jets from March 20, 1989 to March 13, 1991.

SCORCHING HOT IN THE DESERT
The Sabres have won their last six games in Arizona, with the last loss taking place on Jan. 21, 2008. It is the longest road winning streak the Sabres have had against the Coyotes/Jets franchise. Buffalo is 9-4-0 in 13 road games against the Coyotes since they relocated from Winnipeg prior to the 1996-97 season.

COYOTE KILLERS

  • Brian Gionta has 10 points (4+6) in his last 10 games against the Coyotes.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has nine points (4+5) in his last nine games against the Coyotes, including at least a point in each of the last six matchups and each of the five road games during that stretch.
  • Kyle Okposo has eight points (3+5) in eight career games against the Coyotes.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has five points (2+3) in four career matchups with Arizona, including at least a point in each game.
  • Zemgus Girgensons has totaled four points (1+3) in three career games against the Coyotes, including at least a point in each of the three.
  • Tyler Ennis has four points (3+1) in four career games against the Coyotes.
  • Jack Eichel has three points (1+2) in two career games against Arizona.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has logged 19 points (5+14) in his last 19 games, including six multi-point outings. The Sabres are 10-0-0 this season (and 19-3-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Evander Kane has 15 points (9+6) in his last 15 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has seven points (3+4) in his last seven games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in nine of his last 11 games (1+8). He enters tonight’s game on a career-best six-game point streak.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • Tonight is the Sabres’ fifth game in a seven-game stretch against Western Conference teams. Buffalo is 2-2-0 in the first four games.
  • The Sabres are 12-8-2 in all games against the Western Conference this season and 10-5-2 in their last 17 games against the Pacific Division.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres finished last night’s game ranked third in the league with a 22.6% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%).
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the ninth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 22.6% mark in 1993-94. It would be the 49th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 12th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 5-3 loss at Colorado. The Sabres are 6-4-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-6-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (4), one point (1) and zero points (2).

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 21 goals this season in his last 37 games, including a team-high 20 even-strength goals. Since Dec. 1, he is tied for second among all NHL skaters in goals (21), leads the league in even-strength goals (20) and is tied for fifth in shots on goal (142).

*All rankings before as on the conclusion of last night’s game.

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.33 (27)

.24 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.53 (43)

.41 (33)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.85 (70)

.64 (53)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (326)

2.3 (186)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished last night’s game tied for 21st among all NHL skaters with 33 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.8 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next 21 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after last night’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.6% PP% (3rd)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (2nd)
  • Foligno: 210 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 20 EVG (T-6th)
  • Lehner: .925 SV% (7th), .931 EV SV% (10th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (5th), .922 SV% (9th)
  • Okposo: 20 PPP (T-10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:37 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 20 PPA (1st), 26:56 TOI (4th), 20 PPP (T-7th), 33 A (T-5th, defensemen)

BUF-ARI Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Jamie McGinn recorded 27 points (14+13) in 63 games for the Sabres during the 2015-16 season.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Alex Goligoski for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2008-2011.

Justin Bailey:

  • Teammates with Tobias Rieder for the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) during the 2012-13 season.
  • Played with Anthony DeAngelo for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) during the 2014-15 season.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Teammates with Alexander Burmistrov during the 2010-11 season for the Atlanta Thrashers and from 2011-2013 for the Winnipeg Jets.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Connor Murphy at the 2015 World Championship.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Represented Canada alongside Mike Smith at the 2015 World Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • He and Peter Holland both played for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2013-2015.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Ryan White for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2014.

Josh Gorges

  • Played with Kyle Chipchura for the Montreal Canadiens from 2007-2010.
  • Played with Ryan White for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2014.

Evander Kane:

  • He and Luke Schenn played for Team Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships.
  • Teammates with Alexander Burmistrov during the 2010-11 season for the Atlanta Thrashers and from 2011-2013 for the Winnipeg Jets.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Connor Murphy at the 2013 World Junior Championship and at the 2014 and 2016 World Championships.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Alex Goligoski at the 2012 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Represented Canada alongside Mike Smith at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships.
  • Teammates with Max Domi for Team Canada at the 2016 World Championship.
  • He and Luke Schenn played for Team Canada at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played with Max Domi and Anthony Duclair for Team Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championship where Canada won the gold medal and Reinhart and Domi were named to the tournament All-Star team.
  • Teammates with Max Domi for Team Canada at the 2016 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Evander Kane (4th overall) was taken two picks before Oliver Ekman-Larsson (6th overall) in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Jake McCabe (44th overall) and Jordan Martinook (58th overall) were both second-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Max Domi (12th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (210), Ristolainen (154), Gorges (100)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (137), McCabe (82), Gorges (79)
Shots: Kane (167), Eichel (159), Okposo/Ristolainen (144)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 0-1-0 (0), 3/5, 1/4, 2/2

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 108-110 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-5; 68-63 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Tyler Ennis … 2 games … 400 NHL games
Dmitry Kulikov … 5 games … 500 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 6 assists … 300 NHL assists

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

Game Preview: 2/25/17 at COL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, February 19
Chicago 5 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Kane
Goalie: Lehner (32 saves/37 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 3/3; Shots: Chicago 37 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 297)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 60 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 24 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 10 games
Zemgus Girgensons (middle body, Feb. 9) – 7 games
Sam Reinhart (illness, Feb. 18) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/19:
Assigned D Taylor Fedun to Rochester (AHL)
2/20: Assigned F Justin Bailey, F Nicholas Baptiste and F Evan Rodrigues to Rochester (AHL)
2/24: Recalled F Justin Bailey and F Evan Rodrigues from Rochester (AHL); Activated F Zemgus Girgensons from IR; Assigned F Derek Grant to Rochester

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, Feb. 26:
Buffalo at Arizona, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 2: Arizona at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 4: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 5: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 5 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES AT AVALANCHE

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Avalanche this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Colorado 2-0 in Buffalo on Feb. 16
  • The Sabres are 2-5-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Avalanche; 4-4-2 on the road.
  • This is the 141st game all-time between Buffalo and Colorado; Buffalo has a 61-55-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 23-34-13 on the road against the Avalanche all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 11-7-3 all-time on February 25.
  • February 25, 1978: The Sabres and Cleveland Barons combine for 16 goals as the Sabres pick up a 13-3 road victory. Danny Gare tallied five points (3+2) and Andre Savard, Jerry Korab and Gary McAdam each scored two goals in the game.
  • February 25, 1998: Dominik Hasek makes 33 saves in his return from Olympic action and Geoff Sanderson scores just 1:22 into his Sabres debut as the Sabres battle to a 2-2 tie at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs, extending their unbeaten streak to 10 games (5-0-5).

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • This is the first game after a five-day break for the Sabres, who return from their bye week tonight.
  • The Sabres are looking to win their fourth game in their past five contests.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have won three consecutive games against the Avalanche for the first time since March 24, 2003 to Dec. 4, 2005.
  • The Sabres last won a game in Colorado on Dec. 4, 2005, having gone 0-3-2 in the five games since then.
  • Robin Lehner has started all three games against the Avalanche since he joined the Sabres last season, stopping 90 of 93 total shots (.968).
  • Jack Eichel (1+2), Evander Kane (3+0) and Ryan O’Reilly (0+4) all have points in each of their last three games against the Avalanche.
  • Sam Reinhart has three points (2+1) in three career games against Colorado.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has logged 18 points (5+13) in his last 18 games, including six multi-point outings. The Sabres are 10-0-0 this season (and 19-3-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Evander Kane has 15 points (9+6) in his last 14 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has six points (2+4) in his last six games, but missed the team’s last two games with an illness.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in eight of his last 10 games (1+7). A point tonight would stretch his point streak to a career-high six games.
  • Robin Lehner has logged a .942 save percentage in 10 games during the month of February.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has nine points (4+5) in 11 games in February.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • Tonight is the Sabres’ fourth game in a seven-game stretch against Western Conference teams. Buffalo is 2-1-0 in the first three games.
  • The Sabres are 12-7-2 in all games against the Western Conference this season and 12-6-3 in their last 21 games against the Central Division.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres entered play Friday ranked third in the league with a 22.5% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%).
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the ninth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 22.6% mark in 1993-94. It would be the 50th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 12th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night in Arizona. The Sabres are 6-3-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-6-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (4), one point (1) and zero points (2).

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 21 goals this season in his last 36 games, including a team-high 20 even-strength goals. Since Dec. 1, he is ranked second among all NHL skaters in goals (21), leads the league in even-strength goals (20) and ranks fifth in shots on goal (140).

*All rankings before 2/24 games.

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points per game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.33 (27)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.51 (42)

.41 (34)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.85 (69)

.64 (52)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (330)

2.3 (185)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered played Friday tied for 25th among all NHL skaters with 32 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.5 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next 19 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/24 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.5% PP% (3rd)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (2nd)
  • Foligno: 209 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 20 EVG (T-6th), 3.4 S/GP (10th)
  • Lehner: .925 SV% (7th), .933 EV SV% (8th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (6th), .922 SV% (9th)
  • Okposo: 20 PPP (T-9th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:40 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 19 PPA (T-1st), 26:58 TOI (4th), 20 PPP (T-9th), 32 A (6th, defensemen)

BUF-COL Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Buffalo selected Mikhail Grigorenko in the first round (12th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft and he had 14 points (6+8) in 68 games for the Sabres.

Former Avalanche:

  • Colorado selected Ryan O’Reilly in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He went on to play 427 games from 2009 to 2015 and had 246 points (90+156).

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Jarome Iginla for part of the 2012-13 season.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Jarome Iginla were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Justin Falk

  • Played with Rene Bourque for the Columbus Blue Jackets for part of the 2014-15 season.
  • Was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2014-2016 along with Cody Goloubef and Fedor Tyutin.

Cody Franson

  • Teammates with Joe Colborne for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2013.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played alongside Rene Bourque for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2014.

Josh Gorges:

  • Teammates with Blake Comeau for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) from 2001-2004.
  • Played with Rene Bourque for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2014.

Robin Lehner:

  • Was a member of the Ottawa Senators from 2010-2015 alongside Patrick Wiercioch.

Matt Moulson:

  • Teammates with Blake Comeau for the New York Islanders from 2009-2011.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played for the New York Islanders during the 2011-12 season along with Blake Comeau.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the New York Islanders alongside Blake Comeau from 2007-2011.

Evan Rodrigues:

  • Played at Boston University from 2011-2013 with Matt Nieto.

International Teammates:

  • 2009 World Junior Championship (Canada): Evander Kane, Tyler Ennis and Cody Goloubef.
  • 2010 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane, Francois Beauchemin, Rene Bourque and Matt Duchene.
  • 2011 World Junior Championship (Canada): Marcus Foligno and Tyson Barrie.
  • 2011 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane and Matt Duchene.
  • 2011 World Championship (Russia): Dmitry Kulikov and Fedor Tyutin.
  • 2013 World Championship (Canada): Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Duchene.
  • 2015 World Championship (Canada): Tyler Ennis, Ryan O’Reilly, Tyson Barrie, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon.

NHL Draft:

  • Brian Gionta (82nd overall) and Francois Beauchemin (75th overall) were third-round picks in the 1998 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) and Matt Duchene (3rd overall) were all first-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers (82nd overall) and Tyson Barrie (64th overall) were both third-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Mikhail Grigorenko (12th overall) were first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall), Nathan MacKinnon (1st overall) and Nikita Zadorov (16th overall) were all first-round draft picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Mikko Rantanen (10th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (209), Ristolainen (154), Gorges (99)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (136), McCabe (81), Gorges (78)
Shots: Kane (165), Eichel (157), Okposo (142)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 108-110 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-5; 68-63 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Tyler Ennis … 3 games … 400 NHL games
Dmitry Kulikov … 6 games … 500 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 6 assists … 300 NHL assists

RECENT MILESTONES
Nicolas Deslauriers … 200th NHL game … Feb. 19 vs. CHI

 

Game Preview: 2/19/17 vs. CHI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 18
St. Louis 2 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Baptiste, Kane, O’Reilly
Goalie: Lehner (37 saves/39 shots)
PP: 1/6; PK: 3/3; Shots: St. Louis 39 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 291)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 59 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 23 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 9 games
Zemgus Girgensons (middle body, Feb. 9; injured reserve) – 6 games
Derek Grant (shoulder, Feb. 18; injured reserve) – 1 game
Sam Reinhart (illness, Feb. 18) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/12:
Activated D Zach Bogosian from IR; Placed F Zemgus Girgensons on IR
2/18: Recalled F Nicholas Baptiste from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Derek Grant on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 25:
Buffalo at Colorado, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 26: Buffalo at Arizona, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 2: Arizona at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 4: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BLACKHAWKS AT SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo 4-3 (OT) in Chicago on Jan. 5.
  • The Sabres are 0-8-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks, 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 119th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-50-15 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-17-8 at home against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-8-2 all-time on February 19.
  • February 19, 1984: Bill Hajt scores the 4,000th goal in franchise history.
  • February 19, 1991: Christian Ruuttu scores the 6,000th goal in franchise history.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With wins in their last three games, the Sabres are looking for their first four-game winning streak since Dec. 9 to 15, 2014.
  • The Sabres are looking to snap a 10-game winless streak (0-8-2) against the Blackhawks that includes a four-game losing streak at home. Their last win against the Blackhawks was a 2-1 victory in Buffalo on Dec. 11, 2009.
  • With at least a point tonight, Buffalo would have points in consecutive games against Chicago for the first time since the team went unbeaten in four straight from Dec. 13, 2002 to Dec. 15, 2007 (3-0-1).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 19 points (7+12) in his last 19 games against the Blackhawks, including at least a point in each of his three games against Chicago as a member of the Sabres.
  • Marcus Foligno has three goals in his last three games against Chicago.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has four assists in his last four games against the Blackhawks.
  • Robin stopped 37 of 39 shots (.949) in his only career start against Chicago on March 2, 2012.
  • If he dresses, Nicolas Deslauriers will appear in his 200th NHL game.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 20 points (6+14) in his last 22 games.
  • Jack Eichel has logged 17 points (5+12) in his last 17 games, including six multi-point outings. The Sabres are 10-0-0 this season (and 19-3-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Evander Kane has 14 points (8+6) in his last 13 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has six points (2+4) in his last six games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in seven of his last nine games (1+6), including points in each of his last four.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 18 points (6+12) in his last 16 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 12 points (4+8) in his last 12 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 18 points (7+11) in 19 home games this season, including six multi-point outings.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (1+5) enters today’s game on a six-game home point streak.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • Today is the Sabres’ sixth game in a stretch of eight straight home games against the Western Conference.
  • Buffalo is 14-3-3 in its last 20 home games against Western Conference opponents and 12-6-2 in all games against the West this season.
  • The Sabres are 12-5-3 in their last 20 games against the Central Division, including a 6-1-2 record in home games.
  • A win today would give Buffalo wins in five straight home games against Central/Norris Division opponents for the first time since the team won five straight against the Norris Division from Dec. 31, 1986 to March 22, 1987.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres finished yesterday’s game ranked second in the league with a 23.0% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%).
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the sixth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 23.6% mark in 1984-85. It would be the 40th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 11th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 3-2 win last night vs. St. Louis. The Sabres are 6-3-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-5-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (3), one point (1) and zero points (2).

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 20 goals this season in his last 35 games, including a team-high 19 even-strength goals. Since Dec. 1, he is ranked second among all NHL skaters in goals (20), leads the league in even-strength goals (19) and ranks second in shots on goal (135).

*All rankings as of conclusion of yesterday’s game

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points per game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.34 (28)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.50 (41)

.41 (34)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.84 (69)

.64 (52)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (330)

2.3 (185)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished yesterday’s game tied for 24th among all NHL skaters with 31 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.0 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next 15 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after yesterday’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.0% PP% (2nd)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 204 hits (3rd)
  • Lehner: .926 SV% (4th), .935 EV SV% (4th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (6th), .922 SV% (8th)
  • Okposo: 20 PPP (T-8th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:43 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 58.0 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 18 PPA (T-1st), 27:02 TOI (4th), 20 PPP (T-8th), 31 A (T-5th, defensemen)

BUF-CHI Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL Draft, Brian Campbell played in Buffalo for parts of eight seasons (1999-00 – 2007-08). As a Sabre, Campbell tallied 176 points (32+144) in 391 games. Campbell was selected as an NHL All-Star in 2007 and 2008.

Former Blackhawks:

  • Andrew Allen served as the developmental goaltending coach in the Blackhawks’ organization from 2012-2015.

Local Players:

  • Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Represented Canada alongside Jonathan Toews at the 2007 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with Richard Panik for the Toronto Maple Leafs for part of the 2014-15 season.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Duncan Keith during the 2002-03 season for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
  • Represented Canada alongside Brent Seabrook at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Teammates with Brian Campbell for the Florida Panthers from 2011-2016.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Teammates with Dennis Rasmussen for Team Sweden at the 2010 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Patrick Kane at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (204), Ristolainen (151), Gorges (99)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (134), McCabe (81), Gorges (78)
Shots: Kane (160), Eichel (153), Okposo (141)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-3-0 (12), 25/20, 6/21, 21/27

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 108-110 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-5; 68-63 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Nicolas Deslauriers … 1 game … 200 NHL games
Tyler Ennis … 4 games … 400 NHL games
Dmitry Kulikov … 7 games … 500 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 6 assists … 300 NHL assists

RECENT MILESTONES
Rasmus Ristolainen … 100th NHL point … Feb. 18 vs. STL
Nicholas Baptiste … 1st NHL assist … Feb. 18 vs. STL

Game Preview: 2/18/17 vs. STL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, February 16
Colorado 0 at Buffalo 2
Goals: Reinhart, Kane
Goalie: Lehner (23 saves/23 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 0/0; Shots: Buffalo 32 – Colorado 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 285)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 58 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 22 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 8 games
Zemgus Girgensons (middle body, Feb. 9; injured reserve) – 5 games
Cody Franson (foot, Feb. 11) – 4 games
Derek Grant (shoulder, Feb. 18) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/12:
Activated D Zach Bogosian from IR; Placed F Zemgus Girgensons on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, Feb. 19:
Chicago at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25: Buffalo at Colorado, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 26: Buffalo at Arizona, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 2: Arizona at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
BLUES AT SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Blues this season.
  • Last meeting: St. Louis defeated Buffalo 4-1 in St. Louis on Nov. 15.
  • The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Blues, 1-9-0 at home.
  • This is the 116th game all-time between Buffalo and St. Louis; Buffalo has a 45-54-16 series record.
  • The Sabres are 30-22-6 at home against the Blues all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-4-4 all-time on February 18.
  • February 18, 1971: Ron Anderson and Phil Goyette both contribute three points in a 6-6 tie with Pittsburgh as the Sabres erase a 3-0 deficit following the first period.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is the seventh of eight afternoon games (3 p.m. ET or earlier) for the Sabres this season. The team is 4-2-0 in the first six and was 6-3-2 in 11 afternoon games last season.
  • The Sabres are looking to snap a nine-game winless streak (0-8-1) against the Blues that includes a four-game losing streak at home. Their last win against the Blues was a 5-3 victory in St. Louis on Dec. 27, 2009. No Sabres – and only three Blues (Patrik Berglund, David Perron and Alexander Steen) – who played in that game remain on the teams’ rosters today.
  • Kyle Okposo has nine points (3+6) in his last seven games against the Blues.
  • Robin Lehner is 3-2-0 all-time against the Blues with a 2.69 goals against average and a .920 save percentage.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 19 points (5+14) in his last 21 games.
  • Jack Eichel has logged 16 points (5+11) in his last 16 games, including six multi-point outings. The Sabres are 10-0-0 this season (and 19-3-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Evander Kane has 12 points (7+5) in his last 12 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has six points (2+4) in his last six games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in six of his last eight games (1+5).

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 17 points (5+12) in his last 15 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 12 points (4+8) in his last 12 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 17 points (7+10) in 18 home games this season, including six multi-point outings.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (1+4) enters today’s game on a five-game home point streak.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • Today is the Sabres’ fifth game in a stretch of eight straight home games against the Western Conference.
  • Buffalo is 13-3-3 in its last 19 home games against Western Conference opponents and 11-6-2 in all games against the West this season.
  • The Sabres are 11-5-3 in their last 19 games against the Central Division, including a 5-1-2 record in home games.
  • A win today would give Buffalo wins in four straight home games against Central/Norris Division opponents for the first time since the team won four straight against the Norris Division from Nov. 25, 1988 to Jan. 12, 1989.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres entered play Friday ranked first in the league with a 23.3% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%).
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the sixth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 23.6% mark in 1984-85. It would be the 37th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 19 goals this season in his last 34 games, including a team-high 18 even-strength goals. Since Dec. 1, he is tied for second among all NHL skaters in goals (19), leads the league in even-strength goals (18) and ranks second in shots on goal (134).

*All rankings before 2/17 games

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points per game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.35 (29)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.49 (40)

.41 (34)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.84 (69)

.64 (52)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

3.9 (321)

2.3 (185)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Friday tied for 29th among all NHL skaters with 30 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 21.7 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next 13 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/17 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 23.3% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 3.9 S/GP (2nd)
  • Foligno: 203 hits (3rd)
  • Lehner: .926 SV% (6th), .934 EV SV% (4th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (6th), .922 SV% (8th)
  • Okposo: 19 PPP (T-10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:40 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.6 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 18 PPA (T-3rd), 27:03 TOI (4th), 19 PPP (2nd, defensemen), 30 A (T-7th, defensemen)

BUF-STL Connections
Former Blues:

  • Anders Nilsson spent part of the 2015-16 season with the Blues, appearing in three games and compiling a .909 save percentage and 2.76 goals-against average. The Blues traded Nilsson to the Sabres on July 2, 2016.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Robert Bortuzzo as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2011-2014.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Jaden Schwartz for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Carl Gunnarsson for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2014.
  • Played with Carter Hutton for the Nashville Predators during the 2014-15 season.

Brian Gionta:

  • Gionta (1979) and Alex Pietrangelo (1990) were both born on Jan. 18.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Represented Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship alongside Alex Pietrangelo.
  • He and Jay Bouwmeester were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Evander Kane:

  • Represented Canada with Alex Pietrangelo at the 2011 World Championship.
  • Skated alongside Jay Bouwmeester as members of Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Represented Russia in the 2011 and 2015 World Championships with Vladimir Tarasenko.
  • Teammates with Scottie Upshall for the Florida Panthers from 2011-2015.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played with Nail Yakupov for the Edmonton Oilers during the 2015-16 season.
  • Represented Sweden alongside Carl Gunnarsson at the 2010 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Represented Canada at the 2012 World Championship with Jay Bouwmeester.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Patrik Berglund (25th overall) were both first-round selections of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall), Tyler Ennis (26th overall) and Alex Pietrangelo (4th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) and Magnus Paajarvi (10th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Nail Yakupov (1st overall) were taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (203), Ristolainen (149), Gorges (97)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (131), McCabe (81), Gorges (76)
Shots: Kane (159), Eichel (145), Okposo (139)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS),  GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 5-3-0 (10), 22/18, 5/15, 18/24

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 108-110 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-5; 68-63 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Nicolas Deslauriers … 2 games … 200 NHL games
Tyler Ennis … 5 games … 400 NHL games
Dmitry Kulikov … 8 games … 500 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 6 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 point … 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

Game Preview: 2/16/17 vs. COL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, February 14
Buffalo 3 at Ottawa 2
Goals: O’Reilly, Moulson, Bailey
Goalie: Lehner (39 saves/41 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Ottawa 41 – Buffalo 25

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 280)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 57 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 21 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 7 games
Zemgus Girgensons (middle body, Feb. 9; injured reserve) – 4 games
Cody Franson (foot, Feb. 11) – 3 games
Evander Kane (illness, Feb. 14) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/10:
Assigned F Evan Rodrigues to Rochester (AHL)
2/11: Recalled F Evan Rodrigues from Rochester (AHL)
2/12: Activated D Zach Bogosian from IR; Placed F Zemgus Girgensons on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 18:
St. Louis at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 19: Chicago at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25: Buffalo at Colorado, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 26: Buffalo at Arizona, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
AVALANCHE AT SABRES

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Avalanche and Sabres
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Colorado 4-1 in Buffalo on Feb. 14, 2016
  • The Sabres are 1-5-4 in their last 10 games vs. the Avalanche; 3-5-2 at home.
  • This is the 140th game all-time between Buffalo and Colorado; Buffalo has a 60-55-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 37-21-11 at home against the Avalanche all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-4-4 all-time on February 16.
  • February 16, 2004: Miroslav Satan scores a career-high four goals, including his 250th NHL goal and 500th NHL point, leading the Sabres to a 7-2 victory vs. Atlanta.
  • February 16, 2012: Thomas Vanek scores his 225th NHL goal in a 7-2 loss at Philadelphia, passing Miroslav Satan for seventh-most goals in team history.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have won back-to-back games against the Avalanche for the first time since they won three straight from Mar. 24, 2003 to Dec. 4, 2005. The team last won consecutive home games against Colorado as part of a three-game streak from March 28, 1995 to Nov. 14, 1996.
  • Robin Lehner started both games against the Avalanche for the Sabres last season, stopping 67 of 70 total shots (.957).
  • Jack Eichel (1+1), Evander Kane (2+0) and Ryan O’Reilly (0+3) each had points in both games against the Avalanche last season.
  • Tyler Ennis has four assists in his last four games against Colorado.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Kyle Okposo has points in 11 of his last 15 games, including each of his last seven (3+4). With a point tonight, he would tie his career-best mark of eight games, originally set from March 7 to 21, 2009 and matched from Dec. 17, 2013 to Jan. 2, 2014.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 18 points (5+13) in his last 20 games.
  • Jack Eichel has logged 15 points (5+10) in his last 15 games, including six multi-point outings. The Sabres are 10-0-0 this season (and 19-3-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Evander Kane has 11 points (6+5) in his last 11 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has five points (1+4) in his last five games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in five of his last seven games (1+4).

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 16 points (5+11) in his last 14 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 12 points (4+8) in his last 13 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 16 points (7+9) in 17 home games this season, including six multi-point outings.
  • Kyle Okposo (3+1) and Rasmus Ristolainen (1+3) each enter tonight’s game on four-game home point streaks.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • Tonight is the Sabres’ fourth game in a stretch of eight straight home games against the Western Conference.
  • Buffalo is 12-3-3 in its last 18 home games against Western Conference opponents and 10-6-2 in all games against the West this season.
  • The Sabres are 10-5-3 in their last 18 games against the Central Division, including a 4-1-2 record in home games. A win tonight would give Buffalo wins in three straight home games against Central Division opponents for the first time since January 1997.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres entered play Wednesday ranked second in the league with a 23.1% success rate on the power play, trailing only Toronto (23.5%).
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%).
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the sixth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 23.6% mark in 1984-85. It would be the 39th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 18 goals this season in his last 33 games, including a team-high 17 even-strength goals. In the period since scoring his first goal of the season on Dec. 3 vs. Boston, he is tied for fourth among all NHL skaters in goals (18), leads the league in even-strength goals (17) and ranks fourth in shots on goal (126).

*All rankings before 2/15 games

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points per game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.36 (30)

.21 (17)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.47 (39)

.42 (35)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.83 (68)

.63 (52)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

3.9 (323)

2.2 (183)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Wednesday tied for 31st among all NHL skaters with 29 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 21.3 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next 10 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/15 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 23.1% PP% (2nd)
  • Eichel: 3.9 S/GP (2nd)
  • Foligno: 198 hits (3rd)
  • Lehner: .924 SV% (7th), .933 EV SV% (8th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (6th), .922 SV% (8th)
  • Okposo: 19 PPP (T-9th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:40 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.8 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 17 PPA (T-3rd), 27:07 TOI (4th), 18 PPP (T-1st, defensemen), 29 A (8th, defensemen)

BUF-COL Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Buffalo selected Mikhail Grigorenko in the first round (12th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft and he had 14 points (6+8) in 68 games for the Sabres.
  • Nikita Zadorov had 16 points (4+12) in 67 games for the Sabres after they selected him in the first round (16th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Former Avalanche:

  • Colorado selected Ryan O’Reilly in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He went on to play 427 games from 2009 to 2015 and had 246 points (90+156).

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Jarome Iginla for part of the 2012-13 season.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Jarome Iginla were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Justin Falk

  • Played with Rene Bourque for the Columbus Blue Jackets for part of the 2014-15 season.
  • Was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2014-2016 along with Cody Goloubef and Fedor Tyutin.

Cody Franson

  • Teammates with Joe Colborne for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2013.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played alongside Rene Bourque for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2014.

Derek Grant

  • Played for the Calgary Flames during the 2015-16 season along with Joe Colborne.
  • Teammates with Patrick Wiercioch for the Ottawa Senators from 2012-2014.

Josh Gorges:

  • Teammates with Blake Comeau for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) from 2001-2004.
  • Played with Rene Bourque for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2014.

Robin Lehner:

  • Was a member of the Ottawa Senators from 2010-2015 alongside Patrick Wiercioch.

Matt Moulson:

  • Teammates with Blake Comeau for the New York Islanders from 2009-2011.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played for the New York Islanders during the 2011-12 season along with Blake Comeau.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the New York Islanders alongside Blake Comeau from 2007-2012.

Evan Rodrigues:

  • Played at Boston University from 2011-2013 with Matt Nieto.

International Teammates:

  • 2009 World Junior Championship (Canada): Evander Kane, Tyler Ennis and Cody Goloubef.
  • 2010 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane, Francois Beauchemin, Rene Bourque and Matt Duchene.
  • 2011 World Junior Championship (Canada): Marcus Foligno and Tyson Barrie.
  • 2011 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane and Matt Duchene.
  • 2011 World Championship (Russia): Dmitry Kulikov and Fedor Tyutin.
  • 2013 World Championship (Canada): Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Duchene.
  • 2015 World Championship (Canada): Tyler Ennis, Ryan O’Reilly, Tyson Barrie, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon.

NHL Draft:

  • Brian Gionta (82nd overall) and Francois Beauchemin (75th overall) were third-round picks in the 1998 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) and Matt Duchene (3rd overall) were all first-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers (82nd overall) and Tyson Barrie (64th overall) were both third-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Mikhail Grigorenko (12th overall) were first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall), Nathan MacKinnon (1st overall) and Nikita Zadorov (16th overall) were all first-round draft picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Mikko Rantanen (10th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (198), Ristolainen (146), Carrier (96)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (130), McCabe (80), Gorges (75)
Shots: Kane (155), Eichel (142), Okposo (138)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 4-3-0 (8), 20/18, 4/12, 18/24

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 108-110 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-5; 68-63 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Nicolas Deslauriers … 2 games … 200 NHL games
Tyler Ennis … 6 games … 400 NHL games
Dmitry Kulikov … 9 games … 500 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 points … 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A